Govt pays ZWL1.8 billion to cotton farmers

By Tendai Munengwa

THE government has paid cotton farmers more than ZWL1.7 billion in outstanding dues, with plans on course to clear the arrears by the end of this week.

Cotton Company of Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer, Mr Pious Manamike told ZBC News this Monday that a total of ZWL1.75 billion has so far been paid to farmers out of the government subsidy of ZWL2.5 billion.

“We are happy to say that the government last week released ZWL750 million and promised to clear the balance owed to farmers by end of this week,” he said.

Cottco is also confident of good yields after the introduction of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme in the white gold sub-sector despite the poor rainfall patterns this season.

“Thanks to the rains being received in various parts of the country, our cotton has been showing moisture stress over the past weeks, but the concept of Pfumvudza is promising good yields,” he added.

More than 520 000 farmers were this season registered to grow the white gold under the Presidential Cotton Free Inputs programme.